Where to sleep in Eastern Sicily: Ramo d'Aria, Giarre
Installed in a wide wicker chair, toes cooling in a pool overlooking Etna, I rather wished every Thursday could start like this.
I was staying at Ramo d’Aria, a former winery turned ‘country hotel’, not far from the seaside town of Riposto. It comprises eleven rather remarkable rooms, a swimming pool and sun terrace with sweeping views of Mount Etna, and a large bar and restaurant, all set in six acres of citrus groves.
Despite the rustic façade, inside its sleek, modern and very white. Imagine, If you will, an incarnation of the scene from Bruce Almighty, when Jim Carey meets God. It is that white.
Having spent a few hours lounging about the terrace, scoffing pastries and cakes, I made a half-hearted attempt at exercise and took one of the bikes to Riposto, a pretty seaside town which sits halfway between Catania and Taormina on the Ionian Sea. I returned, giddy and sunburnt.
After I’d showered (diligently tested out all of the complimentary toiletries) and buttered my burnt skin with complimentary body lotion, I retired to my lounging station on the terrace, this time sipping martinis and plotting the next few days.
Dinner was a glorious affair- tortelli stuffed with fresh ricotta and almonds, followed by ‘spirale di spatula’, a spiral of paddle fish served with still-warm fresh bread and washed down with a glass (carafe) of Etna Rosso.
Ramo d’Aria translates as ‘a branch of fresh air’ and describes itself as a ‘place to breathe’. Boy, did I breathe. By Friday morning I was so full of breath I practically swung open the French windows and launched into an aria.
Rooms at Ramo D’Aria range between €110 -€230 per room, per night. Nearest train station – Giarre Riposto, or a 40min drive from Catania click here for more details.
Fancy a trip to Catania? Don't miss FUD, it's the best burger I've ever eaten.